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for the opportunity to brief you today on my three- day visit to egypt, israel, the occupied palestinian territory, and jordan. since the situation in does that and israel escalated last week, i made it my priority to contribute to halt the violence with a priority aim of protecting civilians. i canceled a previously planned trip to travel to the middle east as a signal for the need for international diplomatic mobilization and prevent the further escalation that would put the region at risk. to strengthen the commendable efforts by egypt to reach a cease-fire. i want to welcome the cease- fire announcement. i commend the parties for stepping back from the brink and commend the president of egypt for his exceptional leadership. our focus now must be on ensuring that the ceasefire holds and all those needs in gaza, and there are many, that they receive the aid that they need. as i assure their relief for the as i assure their relief for the people in gaza and israel and in the international community, that the violence is stopping. but we are all aware of the risk, and we are all aware that many de
embassy over run, our ambassador killed. in egypt, the american flag brought down. in egypt, the persecution of coptic christians throughout egypt. in saudi arabia, we -- women are still treated as second-class citizens. in iran, roadside bombs against american troops. in venezuela, calling for that is correct -- destruction for our way of life. we can do that or we can depend on counties, ohio, the list goes on and on. let me leave you with this commitment. there is going to be a day when i go to washington and someone who is a powerful person puts his hand on my shoulder and says you had better vote for this legislation or i'm going to kick you off your committee or somebody said you had better vote for this or i will shut off or fund-raising or a journalist said its u.s. better vote for this or i will write a bad editorial about you. my commitment to all of you is i will look at journalist, that lobbyists, that political boss in the eye and tell them i do not work for them. my boss is the people the state of ohio and no one in washington is going to push me around. thank
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